1. In this petition under Article 226(1)(a) (b) and (c) of the Constitution, the petitioner-Society has challenged the validity of the order passed by the State Government in No. RD 48 EST. 79 dated 19th April. 1979 in exercise of its power under S. 27-A of the Karnataka cities Registration Act, 1960 (herein after referred to as 'the Act'), appointing the Divisional Commissioner, Belgaum Division as Administrator of the petitioner Society 'for a period of six months or till such time the normalcy in administration is restored and the administration is re-handed over to the Society by the Divisional Commissioner. Belgaum Division, whichever is earlier.'
2. Shri H. B. Datar , the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner-Society. submitted that the impugned order has been passed by the Government on the basis of the report said to have been submitted by the Deputy Commissioner, Belgaum (appointed by the State Government to perform the duties and functions of the Registrar under the Act), who according to the learned Counsel, has submitted the report without affording an ,opportunity to the Society and has also not communicated the results of the enquiry to the Society as per S. 25 of the Act. It was also further contended that the Government, before passing the in order tinder S. 27-A of the Act, also did not give any notice nor afforded an opportunity to the petitioner-Society.
3. Shri Annadanayya Puranik the learned First Additional Government A& vacate appearing for the respondents submitted that after the receipt of the report from the Special Deputy Commissioner, Belgaum, the Government has pas order in exercise of its powers under Section 27-A of the Act; therefore, there was no question of issuing any notice or affording an opportunity to the petitioner Society. This contention of the learned First Additional Government Advocate is not only opposed to the principles of natural justice but is also contrary to the provisions contained in S. 27-A of the Act. By reason of the impugned order, the administration of the Society has been taken away from its members and has been placed at the hands of the government official thereby depriving the members of the Society to manage its This is a very valuable right or the members of the society. That being so the impugned order could not have been passed with out affording an opportunity to the Society. In this case, it was not disputed that the Government had not issued any notice to the petitioner Society nor a copy of the report of the Special Deputy Commissioner was sent to the Society. It is now well settled that even in the case of administrative order adversely affecting the right of a person or a party, it is necessary that such a person or party must be afforded an opportunity before passing such an order. S. 27-A (1) (c) of the Act is as follows:
'Where on a report made by the Registrar or otherwise, on enquiry, the State Government considers it necessary in public interest so to do, the State Government may, by order published in the official Gazette, appoint an Administrator for such society for such period, not exceeding six months, as way be specified In the coder, to manage the affairs of the society : Provided that for reasons to be recorded In writing, the State Government may, by like order, extend the said period by any further periods not exceeding six months at a time, so however subject to the provisions of C1. (5) the aggregate period shall not extend beyond two years;' Thus, whether on report or otherwise, the State Government may appoint an administrator only on enquiry and that too if the State Government considers it necessary hi the public interest to do so. The context in which the expression 'enquiry' occurs in the Section means, enquiry into the affairs of the concerned Society. That being so no such enquiry can be made without affording an opportunity to the concerned Society. In the instant case, no enquiry whatsoever was state. As such, the in order passed by the State government adversely affecting- the Society without affording an rotundity to the Society and without holding an enquiry, cannot be sustained The impugned-order has also resulted in the substantial failure of justice inasmuch a the impugned order puts a slur upon the management of the Society without affording an opportunity to the persons concerned with the management of the Society.
4. This Court in the caw of A. Krishna Murthy v. State of Karnataka (1979) 1 Kant LJ 393): (1980 Lab IC NOC 17), while considering the provisions of S. 25 and 27A of the Act, read with R. 8 of the ruled there under, has held that principles of natural are attracted to the proceedings under the Act..
5. For the reasons stated above, the impugned order dated 19-4-1979 bearing No. RD 48 EST 79 (Exhibit-A) passed by the State Government, is hereby quashed Rule is made absolute.
6. Shri Annad Puranik, the learned First Addition Government Advocate appearing for the respondents,, Is permitted to file his me appearance with in four weeks.
7. Petition allowed